Lectures on Italian Genealogy

The owner of Lo Schiavo Genealogica, Melanie D. Holtz, CG, is available for lectures, whether in-person or by webinar. Webinars will be conducted using the GoToWebinar software. This virtual option enables  genealogical societies and cultural organizations to lessen the costs of hiring a speaker.

Available Lectures

“Italian Civil Records: Finding Errant Civil Records by Understanding the Process of Conservation”

Many “missing” civil records can be found with knowledge of: 1) what records were created; 2) where the records can be found now; and 3) an understanding of how to evolve your research plan depending on what record sets you’ve already researched with negative results.

“Stato d’Anime/Status Animarum [State of the Souls] Records: Dissecting These Valuable Records”

In certain areas of Italy, the Catholic Church created ecclesiastical censuses for the purpose of taxation and the recording of their citizen’s sacraments and vital events. These records can easily reveal several generations of a family and are especially valuable in those areas of Italy where the majority of civil registration begins after Italian Unification. Students will learn the history and process behind these records, which is important to understanding what the records reveal.

“The Proietti: Researching an Abandoned Child”

This lecture focuses on a very common problem within Italian genealogical research, when your research encounters an ancestor who was abandoned. Does this mean an end to the family line? What records might reveal the situation around the abandonment? Have you exhausted all resources that might provide information on this ancestor, directly or indirectly? We will discuss the religious, social and political policies that affected the lives of these ancestors so dramatically.

“The Riveli​ ​– Census or Manorial Records, or Both?”

In the region of Sicilia, the Catholic Church created a type of census for the purpose of taxation between the 16th and early 19th centuries. These records are sometimes referred to as manorial records and can be a valuable resource for Sicilian ancestors who lived before 1820, the start of civil registration in this area of Italy. We will learn about the history of these records, how and where to find them, and evaluate several records for genealogical clues.

“The Evolving Identity of Matteo Catanese – a Case Study”

Matteo Catanese used no less than six different names in the records he created during his life. This ancestor will be tracked from his birth in the mountains of Sicilia to his death in Pennsylvania, displaying research methodologies, as each piece of evidence is uncovered. The discussion will include how researching in the records of this ancestor’s “FAN [Friends, Associates, Neighbors] Club” revealed key information that led to a solid genealogical conclusion.

“Adding Cultural Context to Your Italian Family History”

Do you want to write a family history on your ancestors that will last for generations? Learn how to find key resources on Italian cultural context that will add interesting details to your family history.

“From Venezia to Cantania: the Basics of Italian Research”

This lecture is for the beginner in Italian genealogical research. It covers the intricacies of Italian civil registration and the basics of ecclesiastical records.

“Understanding the Registri di Popolazione, Scheda, and Foglio di Stato Famiglia”

This lecture discusses the history behind these valuable records and how they can be used to verify vital information and track an ancestor’s movements around the country or around the world. This lecture is intended for the intermediate researcher in Italian genealogy.

“Italian Civil Records (State Civile): Going Beyond the Basics”

This lecture discusses more advanced records within Italy’s civil registration: allegati [birth, death, and marriage supplements/attachments], cittadinanza [citizenship] records, and atti diversi [diverse acts]. The lecture is intended for the intermediate researcher in Italian genealogy.